Native Nations Institute for Leadership, Management, and Policy (NNI) is a self-determination, self-governance, and development resource for Native Nations, we've selected just a couple of their videos on Tribal Governance here:
Self-Determination and Governance are Related, Stephen Cornell
NNI Radio includes interviews with Terry Janis and Jill Doerfler who speak about the Constitution of the White Earth Nation.
Native Nations TV is an 8-part series with various Tribal Leaders throughout the U.S. and Canada talking about Native nation Building.
Read "Determinants of Development Success in the Native Nations of the United States" for a good summary of the elements of success for Native Nation building, based on more than two decades' research by the Harvard Project for American Indian Economic Development. Specifically, the report suggests that successful Native Nations share three essential characteristics: 1) they assert the Nation's power of self-rule; 2) they build strong institutions of self-government to backup those powers; and 3) they root their development efforts and institutions in Native culture.
David Treuer's (Ojibwe) article: "How Do You Prove You're an Indian" was published in the New York Times in December, 2011. He talks about the issue of blood quantum history, sovereignty, education and way of life.
Ryan W. Schmidt's (Department of Anthropology, University of Montana, Missoula) journal article "American Indian Identity and Blood Quantum in the 21st Century: A Critical Review" was published in the Journal of Anthropology in 2011. He tells about the historical practices to determine blood quantum and specifically mentions experiences at White Earth up to modern day genetic testing.
Measuring Blood: The American Indian Blood Quantum, Thoughts from Orrin Lews (Cherokee).
Peter Erlinder, Professor of Law, William Mitchell College of Law, and Director, International Humanitarian Law Institute writes about the Minnesota v. Mille Lacs Band of Chippewa Indians U.S. Supreme Court case that unanimously confirmed the rights to hunt, fish, and gather in the ceded territory of 1837 in this article: "Minnesota v. Mille Lacs Band of Chippewa Indians: 19th Century Treaty-Created Usufructuary Property Interests, the Foundation for 21st Century Indigenous Sovereignty."
Ken Peterson, former MN Commissioner of Labor & Industry began his career as a legal services lawyer on the Leech Lake Reservation, he also served as Deputy Attorney General and coordinated the State of Minnesota's legal relations with Tribal governments. His article: "Ransom Powell and the Tragedy of White Earth" discusses the historic land loss at White Earth.
Jack D. Forbes Department of Native American Studies from the University of California, Davis writes about the origin of blood quantum and how the concept is racist with the goals of ultimate termination in his article: "Blood Quantum: A Relic of Racism and Termination."
Matthew L.M. Fletcher's article: "Race and American Indian Tribal Nationhood" published in 2011 in the Wyoming Law Review looks at historical tribal communities, Tribal citizenship, and Tribal self-governance.
Paul Spruhan: "A Legal History of Blood Quantum in Federal Indian Law to 1935" talks about how Tribal membership used to be determined and traces the history of using blood quantum.
MCT Proposed Referendum
Read the full Press Release issued by the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe to ask for a referendum on the blood quantum requirement:
Read the full Press Release issued by Chairwoman, Erma Vizenor in response to the request:
Minutes from the February 24, 2015 TEC Meeting that approved the resolutions to ask for a Secretarial Referendum on the blood quantum criteria.
*NEW - Just published, June, 2015* Those Who Belong: Identity, Family, Blood, and Citizenship Among the White Earth Anishinaabeg by Jill Doerfler
Those Who Belong explores how White Earth Anishinaabeg understood identity and blood quantum in the early twentieth century, how it was employed and manipulated by the U.S. government, how it came to be the sole requirement for tribal citizenship in 1961, and how a contemporary effort for constitutional reform sought a return to citizenship criteria rooted in Anishinaabe kinship, replacing the blood quantum criteria with lineal descent. Those Who Belong illustrates the ways in which Anishinaabeg of White Earth negotiated multifaceted identities, both before and after the introduction of blood quantum as a marker of identity and as the sole requirement for tribal citizenship.
The White Earth Nation of Anishinaabeg Natives ratified in 2009 a new constitution, the first indigenous democratic constitution, on a reservation in Minnesota. Many Native constitutions were written by the federal government, and with little knowledge of the people and cultures. The White Earth Nation set out to create a constitution that reflected its own culture. The resulting document provides a clear Native perspective on sovereignty, independent governance, traditional leadership values, and the importance of individual and human rights.
Now in its third edition, American Indian Politics is the most comprehensive study written from a political science perspective that analyzes the structures and functions of indigenous governments (including Alaskan Native communities and Hawaiian Natives) and the distinctive legal and political rights these nations exercise internally, while also examining the fascinating intergovernmental relationship that exists between native nations, the states, and the federal government.
This book shows that without the cooperation of the"mixed-bloods," or part-Indians, dispossession of Indian lands by the U.S. government in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries would have been much more difficult to accomplish. The relationship between the Métis and the loss of Indian lands, never before fully explored, is revealed in Unrau's study of Charles Curtis, a mixed-blood member of the Kansa-Kaws.
A revolution is underway among the Indigenous nations of North America. It is a quiet revolution, largely unnoticed in society at large. But it is profoundly important. From High Plains states and Prairie Provinces to southwestern deserts, from Mississippi and Oklahoma to the northwest coast of the continent, Native peoples are reclaiming their right to govern themselves and to shape their future in their own ways. Challenging more than a century of colonial controls, they are addressing severe social problems, building sustainable economies, and reinvigorating Indigenous cultures. In effect, they are rebuilding their nations according to their own diverse and often innovative designs.
The White Earth Tragedy: Ethnicity and Dispossession at a Minnesota Anishinaabe Reservation, 1889-1920 by Melissa L. Meyer
This compelling interdisciplinary history of an Anishinaabe community at the White Earth Reservation in Minnesota offers a subtle and sophisticated look at changing social, economic, and political relations among the Anishinaabeg and reveals how cultural forces outside of the reservation profoundly affected their lives.
The Minnesota Chippewa Tribe is comprised of 6 out of the 7 Ojibwe Reservations in Minnesota (Bois Forte, Fond du Lac, Grand Portage, Leech Lake, Mille Lacs, and White Earth), the Red Lake Nation is separate and maintains their own governmental authoirty and control, in conjunction with the United States.
Rebuilding Native Nations - Strategies for Governance and Development is a self-determination, self-governance and development resource for Native nations.
The Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development has excellent resources on research studies and successful projects throughout Indian Country.
Listen to former White Earth Historian and Teacher, Andy Favorite, (April 19, 1948 - May 24, 2012) talk about how blood quantum was originally determined.
Download the Thirteenth Census of the United States in 1910 which was the first census where "full-bloods" and "mixed-bloods" were tabulated into the data. This comprehensive report shows data for every state o fthe Union in 1910. See this LINK for the tabulation worksheet and special instructions used for counting Indians in 1910.
The National Indian Gaming Association's Library includes a short piece on White Earth written by Kate Spilde, Ph.D. in May, 2001.
State v. Zay Zay (Supreme Court of Minnesota, 1977) is an appeal on a Clearwater County case regarding tax forfeited property; the property originated via the Nelson Act but was also impacted by the Clapp Act Amendment.
Spaeth v. United States Secretary of Interior (U.S. Court of Appeals - Eighth Circuit) disputes Solicitor's 1979 opinion regarding clouded land titles on the White Earth Reservation
United States v. First National Bank of Detroit Minnesota argues the terms "mixed-blood", "half breed" and "full-blood" and terms defining an "Indian"
Littlewolf v. Lujan, Jr. Secretary of the Interior (U.S. Court of Appeals - District of Columbia Circuit) argued the White Earth Land Settlement Act was unconstitutional. Affirmed the district court's judgement that the Act conformed to both federal guardianship responsibility and the Constitution.
Indian Law Reviews: The William Mitchell Law Review is a quarterly, student-edited journal founded in 1974 and publishes regional, national and international interest for legal practioners, scholars, and lawmakers.
Bibeau v. White Earth Election Board (White Earth Tribal Court) decision on the referendum held on the White Earth Constitution